Monday, April 1, 2013

The Big Move

(Maya's new room)

Over the past few months, we have quietly been searching for a new place to live. We've outgrown our current rental and have had some issues with a negligent property manager.

Things change when you have a baby. Your needs change. Perception changes. We moved into our house when we weren't married and didn't have a child. I wanted to live closer to my parents, in a larger space, with a garden, and be able to have a dog.

Oh... how things have changed. 
What I didn't realize was that gardening was very strenuous, and required constant upkeep. The area we moved to, which was closer to my parents, had virtually no young people or young families. In fact, I swear most of the houses are empty - just sitting ducks for offshore vacationers. Our 1200 sq foot house became only a 600 sq foot living space, because the entire basement was too cold for most of the year. We got our beautiful dog Ziggy, who was our first baby. And we enjoyed taking him to the dog park and playing in the yard...until we had our baby, and the 2 week pet-sitting I asked my dad to do became "I really love him, can I have him here?" How can I say no to my Daddy? I can't. And not only that, Ziggy sort of chose it himself. Whenever we brought him back to our house, he moped and fretted.

Things really started to change when Maya became mobile. I noticed a LOT of things around the house that I couldn't baby proof. For example, nails sticking out of the floorboards, mold on the windows, bendy window glass, etc.

The deal breaker for us was when our basement flooded, and our landlord took a week to get it fixed - luckily, all our things were in air tight boxes. And then we decided to sell our Ikea bed frame and broke it down and discovered that behind the headboard was an entire wall of black mold  For those of you that don't know, breathing in black mold can cause a slew of health problems: respiratory issues, asthma, chronic fatigue, nausea, hemorrhaging, etc. Many of which I had during my difficult pregnancy...is it connected? Maybe. Isn't everything connected? We'll never know.
I truly believe that if you pray and think positively, positive things will happen - through the law of attraction.

When we started looking, I had a wish list of things I wanted for our next living space:

-Dishwasher (so I don't have to spend 45mins every night scrubbing dishes)
-Open kitchen (so I can see her crawl while I make her food)
-Elevator (She's too heavy to carry up the stairs)
-Walking distance to grocery stores
-Closer to work for Maddy
-Newer apartment, at least only 15 years old
-preferably top floor (so we don't have to hear people walking above us)
-more than 600sq ft living space

If we were going to make the huge effort to move, this new place had better be great. After all, it's stressful moving with a young baby.

So I had my wish list in my head, and I was praying and praying...and lo and behold, I found it! I found the listing in the morning, and we signed the lease by 5pm. It had my entire wish list!!! And it is right next to my favorite Italian restaurant...that sealed the deal! (If I can't get it together to make dinner, I'll just send my husband downstairs!)

Even though the apartment is a larger living space than our house, my main goal is to minimize. I don't need a big huge house. I just need less stuff!!! I've almost started to feel claustrophobic with all our stuff...things that I've been carrying around with me since college, that have no functional value!
After we signed the lease, and we have a few weeks before the move, I was on a mission to de-clutter. 

We decided to sell all our old Ikea furniture on Craigslist and basically get rid of everything that was Ikea. When my grandmother died a few months ago, we inherited all her beautiful teak furniture from the 1950s. Not only was it sentimental to me, but it was good quality furniture. Timeless. We have decided to keep all of her furniture and start with that as our base. Then if we need anything else we can build it up. I was just craving to minimize.

In the meantime, all the Ikea stuff had to go. I listed about 15 pieces on Craigslist and it sold like hot cakes! It's crazy how many people want second hand Ikea stuff - are they idiots?!? Some people even drove from 2 hours away to purchase a piece of Ikea furniture that was half price.

We made enough so that we could purchase a new Ikea bed frame - we bought our old one in San Francisco and we grew out of it. It was too low to the ground and had really sharp corners - not baby-friendly! I was happy to at least make some money out of the sales so that we could purchase the bed and have some left over to help pay for the movers we hired.

Craigslist was easy enough - mostly it was nice women searching to decorate their houses. But there were a few weirdos - men, of course! My friend cautioned me to never give out my address or name until a pick-up appointment was set up, and I'm so glad I followed her advice. She said to just give out the neighborhood I lived in and that is more than enough.

There was one creepy man who wanted to purchase a workout bench we advertised. He kept asking if I had a husband or boyfriend, and I got freaked out. Another man went off on me because I wouldn't give my exact house number. He wrote this big huge rant about how nobody cares that he had to spend the money to hire 2 helpers and a moving truck - this man was really delusional because I was only selling a bookshelf that I could carry myself, and would fit in a medium sized car. This man was such a lunatic, that I googled his name and found that he goes on all these different websites and complains about service. What a drama queen...hahaha!

Luckily, Craigslist has a feature where you can report a user for harassment or abusive language. It felt so good to press that report button!

Now, we have sold over 15 items and I must say, I feel like a Craigslist pro seller! Every time every item went out the door, I felt lighter. I felt like all the stuff was weighing me down. Life has changed so much - we are parents now, we are married...and the best things in life aren't things that fill your house. Sometimes you can be more satisfied with less.

It's crazy to think that this new apartment is actually the FIRST place that we have picked out together.  I picked out the last place while my husband was at work; the 2 places before that, my parents picked out for us; and then before that was my first apartment that I selected before I even met my husband. After all these years, it's the first place that we picked out together, as a team!

Next up is the packing, donating old items, throwing stuff out, and the big move. 
Stay tuned!
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